January 27, 2015

HoneyLove.org's 4th Annual Honey Tasting Workshop: a blind competition

What's beekeeper to do in Winter? Not much is needed in the beeyard, so I was really excited to receive HoneyLove.org's January newsletter with a honey-tasting call-for-entries. I sent a jar of triple-strained honey from the Top Bar Hive. Some of the honey I chose had too much moisture, and some had already begun to crystallize but I figured the two combined would be perfect. I warmed them just enough to pass most of it through a 200-micron filter, keeping the course stuff out of the finished product. Not disturbing the honey is key to producing an award-winning honey, a patience-testing process in the middle of Winter. The two jars in the picture are the result.

If the image doesn't load, you can see the original picture on Instagram.

There were 17 entries into the competition. Here's how we did.
To see more pictures from the competition and to learn about HoneyLove.org, be sure to visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/honeylove.org

January 19, 2015

Breaking Down the Little Top Bar Hive

Marty had said that the colony died before the first cold snap, so I'd been assuming that mites were the problem. Breaking down the hive, this is what we found.

December 22, 2014

You don't scare me.

When I saw this on FaceBook the other day, it was true. I LOL'd. Today, not so much. And I'm not laughing.
But here's the thing. Vandalism does. My boss says I oughtta keep another blog, one dedicated to the crazy shit that happens when you live in Suburbia. Without a doubt I have plenty to write about.

Yesterday was the Turn of Days, the start of the new year for bees. With the days getting longer, the bees will encourage their queen to lay eggs again, to be ready for the first nectar flow. Their timing is just about right because the Silver Maples always bloom in late February (although with the buds I'm seeing, mid-February is pretty likely). I've been preparing for the new year, too, researching where I want to get replacement bees from, reviewing all my beekeeping notes... I've been looking forward to bringing the Top Bar Hive back home from the outyard and getting ready to have bees again, despite the fact that I haven't completed my Venom Immunotherapy. But yesterday, the Turn of Days for us began with our doorbell being rung... by a cop.